Brexit Fever Spreads: Austria and Holland are Next Up to Leave EU
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Brexit Fever Spreads: Austria and Holland are Next Up to Leave EU

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Europe’s got a fever, and the only prescription is…more referendums.

Eurasia Group, a geopolitical risk consultancy, shared this map today after analyzing EU countries for the potential of further Brexit-like events:

Brexit fever spreads

It’s not the type of quantitative data we usually seek, but in this case we’ll make an exception – Eurasia Group, headed by Ian Bremmer, is the largest political consultancy in the world.

Austrout or Nexit?

According to Eurasia’s analysis, the two countries that are most likely to have referendums on EU membership are Austria and The Netherlands.

It’s been 20 years since Austria held the referendum to initially join the EU. However, according to a pre-Brexit poll, nearly 40% of the population now wants to hold a referendum to leave.

“Europe can collapse because of the refugee crisis and uncontrolled immigration,” says Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian Foreign Minister. “Only by a speedy transformation can we prevent a wildfire. The EU needs to be rearranged. Everyone, who is for Europe, also needs to be a force in making the necessary changes.”

In other words, there must be fast, sweeping changes to their arrangement or they are out. Unfortunately, making fast, sweeping decisions is not what the European Union is known for.

The Dutch share a similar sentiment.

Despite Netherlands being a founding member of the EU and currently holding the EU presidency, a June poll showed 54% of people want a referendum to leave. So far, in a theoretical vote, the independence camp is leading with 48% of the vote, while 45% would seek to remain in the EU.

What’s Next?

While Eurasia Group sees Austria and the Netherlands as the frontrunners for the next referendum vote, there are many other dominoes that could fall. France, Italy, and Sweden are among the key countries that have strong Eurosceptic movements.

If a Brexit result was a tinderbox that got the fire going, then any major developments in these countries could be the gasoline. Another “exit” event would make clear to everyone that there is an inevitability of failure around the Union.

Brexit negotiations and populist dissent will be in the news for some time, and markets will be volatile, extremely sensitive, and over-reactive as a result.

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The Top Google Searches Related to Investing in 2022

What was on investors’ minds in 2022? Discover the top Google searches and how the dominant trends played out in portfolios.

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Trend lines showing when the top Google searches related to investing reached peak popularity over the course of 2022.
The following content is sponsored by New York Life Investments

The Top Google Searches Related to Investing in 2022

It was a turbulent year for the markets in 2022, with geopolitical conflict, rising prices, and the labor market playing key roles. Which stories captured investors’ attention the most? 

This infographic from New York Life Investments outlines the top Google searches related to investing in 2022, and offers a closer look at some of the trends.

Top Google Searches: Year in Review

We picked some of the top economic and investing stories that saw peak search interest in the U.S. each month, according to Google Trends.

Month of Peak InterestSearch Term
JanuaryGreat Resignation
FebruaryRussian Stock Market
MarchOil Price
April Housing Bubble
MayValue Investing
JuneBitcoin
JulyRecession
AugustInflation
SeptemberUS Dollar
OctoberOPEC
NovemberLayoffs
DecemberInterest Rate Forecast

Data based on exact searches in the U.S. from December 26, 2021 to December 18, 2022.

Let’s look at each quarter in more detail, to see how these top Google searches were related to activity in the economy and investors’ portfolios.

Q1 2022

The start of the year was marked by U.S. workers quitting their jobs in record numbers, and the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war. For instance, the price of crude oil skyrocketed after the war caused supply uncertainties. Early March’s peak of $125 per barrel was a 13-year high.

DateClosing Price of WTI Crude Oil
(USD/Barrel)
January 2, 2022$76
March 3, 2022$125
December 29, 2022$80

While crude oil lost nearly all its gains by year-end, the energy sector in general performed well. In fact, the S&P 500 Energy Index gained 57% over the year compared to the S&P 500’s 19% loss.

Q2 2022

The second quarter of 2022 saw abnormal house price growth, renewed interest in value investing, and a bitcoin crash. In particular, value investing performed much better than growth investing over the course of the year.

IndexPrice Return in 2022
S&P 500 Value Index-7.4%
S&P 500 Growth Index-30.1%

Value stocks have typically outperformed during periods of rising rates, and 2022 was no exception.

Q3 2022

The third quarter was defined by worries about a recession and inflation, along with interest in the rising U.S. dollar. In fact, the U.S. dollar gained against nearly every major currency.

Currency USD Appreciation Against Currency
(Dec 31 2020-Sep 30 2022)
Japanese Yen40.1%
Chinese Yuan9.2%
Euro25.1%
Canadian Dollar7.2%
British Pound22.0%
Australian Dollar18.1%

Higher interest rates made the U.S. dollar more attractive to investors, since it meant they would get a higher return on their fixed income investments.

Q4 2022

The end of the year was dominated by OPEC cutting oil production, high layoffs in the tech sector, and curiosity about the future of interest rates. The Federal Reserve’s December 2022 economic projections offer clues about the trajectory of the policy rate.

 202320242025Longer Run
Minimum Projection4.9%3.1%2.4%2.3%
Median Projection5.1%4.1%3.1%2.5%
Maximum Projection5.6%5.6%5.6%3.3%

The Federal Reserve expects interest rates to peak in 2023, with rates to remain elevated above pre-pandemic levels for the foreseeable future.

The Top Google Searches to Come

After a year of volatility across asset classes, economic uncertainty remains. Which themes will become investors’ top Google searches in 2023?

Find out how New York Life Investments can help you make sense of market trends.

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